Vatican City (Fides Service) – The Holy Father, Pope John Paul II, has (26 January 2004) appointed Vicar Apostolic of Tierradentro (Colombia) Reverend Father Edgar Hernando Tirado Mazo MXY, former Superior general of the Yarumal Institute for Foreign Mission, presently parish priest at San Bautista of Vitichi in Bolivia, assigning to him the titular see of Zaba.
The new Vicar Apostolic was born on 22 February 1939 at Medellin. After attending minor seminary he entered the major seminary of the Yarumal Institute for Foreign Missions (MXY) becoming a member of the Institute. He studied theology at Bogotà major seminary and was ordained a priest on 29 November 1970. He has since been: missionary (1971-73) parish priest (1974-78) in Venezuela; director of the MXY Theology College in Colombia (1979/84); general Counsellor and e Rector of the major missionary seminary at Medellin (1985-88); parish priest (1989-90); missionary in Bolivia, in Potosì diocese, where he held various responsibilities (1991-95); MXY Superior general (1996-2002); since 2003 parish priest of San Bautista of Vitichi in Bolivia.
The Apostolic Vicariate of Tierradentro, established in 2000, situated in south east Colombia, is under the jurisdiction of Popayan Archdiocese. The area was evangelised in 1613 by the Jesuit Fathers followed 40 years later by the Franciscans. At the beginning of the last century it was entrusted to the Lazzarists and became an Apostolic Prefecture in 1921. It has an area of 2.087 sq. km; a population of 57.000, of whom 53.000 are Catholics, gathered in 13 parishes, assisted by 22 priests (13 diocesan and 9 Lazzarists), and 29 women religious. There are 11 major seminarians. In the Vicariate the Church run 2 secondary schools, 31 centres for basic adult education and 2 minor seminaries: one for students of mixed racial origin (120) the other for indigenous native students (112). (S.L.) (Fides Service 26/1/2004; lines 20; words 278)